Former club bouncer and Los Angeles native Estevan Oriol got his start in the entertainment business managing tours for huge artists like “House of Pain” and “Cypress Hill” almost 20 years ago. While globe trotting with them he began his photography career taking flicks of the madness and glitter that surrounds international celebrities. When he was back home in L.A though, it was a much different story. He took his cues from the street life surrounding him. The singular dramatic black and white photos he produces are gripping, beautiful, and authentically menacing portraits of individuals fully immersed in L.A gang lifestyle. Blessed with a talented eye and a hood pass, he takes pictures in places armed with a camera where most tough guys would take a weapon.  Offered for the first time to the public for free, in this exclusive interview from The Run Up, Estevan Oriol expresses his thoughts, methods, and views on approaching everyday with the hunger of a hustler who doesn’t know where his next meal will come from.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7QMer55ZKc8[/youtube]

To coincide with this interview, and to continue the 10th Anniversary festivities, Upper Playground is giving away an Estevan Oriol photo of Xzibit.  The photo is a black and white portrait of Xzibit, is framed and measures roughly 2 feet x 2.5 feet.  To enter, all you have to do is sign up for the Upper Playground email list.  If you are already signed up, then you are already entered to win. The contest is open for 2 weeks and a winner will be announced.

xzibit